Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School (Really!)

Today, KT begins her classes at UGa. She's a sophomore, or, as we say at The University, Second Year.

Hitch and Madden start for real at HSP. Senior and Sophomore. (Has anyone realized that KT and Madden will graduate college and high school at the same time? I hope it's not the same day!

St. Maximilian Kolbe Academy (our homeschool) starts today, too. I have a First grader, Fourth grader, and Seventh grader this year. My kids are growing up! And what does that say about me? Shhhhh! Don't say it!

So what am I doing to get ready for school today? Blogging. But really, if I'm not ready now, I never will be!

Saturday our TORCH group had a speaker come to help us start the year off right. Tammy Kiser from Smart Martha came to tell us how to "be Martha with a Mary heart". Poor Martha was drudging away in the kitchen while Mary sat at Jesus's knee and soaked up His glory. And we all know she grumbled about it and wanted Mary to come help! Does that sound like anyone you know?

The seminar was full of ideas on how to be a Smart Martha, that is, organize your life so that you spend less time as a drudge. Of course, we're not supposed to drudge, anyway. We should be doing our chores, which are unavoidable, with love, and sometimes with a lot of prayer. Our work should sanctify us, not cause us to sin.

There were many good ideas for home organization, some of which I use already. She was all about reading lots of organizing books, like Flylady, and using what works for you from each one. There is no one size fits all plan because we each have unique skills and families and needs.

For me, the biggest thing was about multi-tasking. It's okay to multi-task when you're working on chores. But you should never multi-task when dealing with people! We need to be Smart Martha's so we can feel free to take the time to sit with Jesus in whatever form he presents himself to you----a child, a husband, a neighbor, or Jesus himself in the tabernacle or monstrance.

I already implemented a few of the simpler ideas this weekend, like re-organizing my bulletin board. But the big ideas are the bedrooms! I have TMax, Pipster, and the Little Princess on board to help with this major overhaul of their bedrooms, and, really, the whole house. Now I'm wishing that we had had this seminar back in May, when I had all summer to organize my home! OTOH, it wouldn't have gotten done. I had lots of projects planned, very few of which got accomplished. That is just the way it is during the summer---we're less organized and we're trying to be in fun mode, not work mode. I'm hoping that with just 3 homeschoolers and a plan, we can do a little each day and get it done. By October. We want to have a yard sale with our clutter before yard sale season is totally over.

I'd love to hear anyone else's ideas for streamlining household maintenance and chores! What do you all do to make life simpler?


  1. I think you touched on the source of what we need to simplify -- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I have found, after a year of both the kids and I committing to an hour a week, that it is easier (not easy) to let things go that really don't matter. On the housekeeping front, and not unrelated to this Holy Hour, is the need to get everyone on a chore rotation. I have worked in 2 restaurants (and 1 big catering operation) and my best system so far was like the way restaurants organize opening and closing duties. I did a better job with chores two years ago -- your post has helped me see that I need to be assigning my three hschoolers to more chores. It is good for their souls. I am also grateful for forums, like theseblogs and the SM,for helping us moms encourage each other to both balance and simplification, each of which is the fruit of prayer.
    btw, I love the two prayers on your sidebars and am going to print them out for our bboard. love,ss

  2. I would have loved to have gone to that. Is the Smart Martha seminar something that takes place in parishes periodically?

    I wanted you to know that I nominated you for an award. Come to my blog to see.


  3. She's going to be at St. Peter Chanel very soon! I'll send you the email.


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